As a business speaker who speaks on the role of humor in leadership and business and the importance of building a strong workplace culture, I am continually amazed at the number of senior business people who still take themselves so seriously.
Now I get the desire that people have to be taken seriously and be respected, but it seems to me that the more seriously people take themselves the less seriously others often take them!
You see this even in photographs in magazines or on websites. The serious, corporate, “we-eat-small-children for breakfast look” that seems to suggest that their workplace is devoid of any happiness, warmth or energy. In fact, sometimes these business people look downright miserable and I’m left wondering what potential customers or employees must think! Flipping through a business magazine last week, for example, I was amazed to see photos of various teams being honored for a variety of awards, and in most of the photos no one was even smiling! And this was supposed to be a happy occasion where people were celebrating!
So how about as a simple starting point on the road to taking ourselves a little less seriously that we actually start encouraging people to smile in their photos? Show people that there’s a trusting, caring, approachable human being behind the power suit. And better still, avoid the canned photos and include some candid shots – some real shots of you interacting with your team or a customer. Or how about some personal shots that give us a glimpse of the real you outside working hours? A photo with your dog or your kids or perusing one of your favorite pastimes.
And hey, how about some downright fun photos to show that you have a sense of humor and can take yourself lightly sometimes?
The worse that could happen is that your customers and employees will think you enjoy your job and work in a great organization.
2013, April. Michael Kerr, Humor at Work. Michael is a funny business speaker, trainer and very funny motivational speaker who helps organizations build more inspiring workplace cultures.
“Just wanted to say “WOW!” Our group has had many speakers over the years, but none the likes of Mike Kerr.”
Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
“Michael Kerr is one of the best speakers I have seen. I highly recommend him!”
Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
“Mike held the full attention of our senior management team for a full FOUR hour
presentation – no small accomplishment!”
Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics